Happy Happy Soy Boy has been described as a disrupter of the alt milk scene - their non-dairy milk tastes delicious, is good for you and is the perfect match for your daily coffee here at our cafes. (Not to mention the cutest name and packaging around).
More and more Kiwis are living dairy-free and passing on the environmental benefits with every cup - just one glass of dairy milk results in three-times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions of plant-based alternatives. Wow. We caught up with Happy Happy Soy Boy founder Lloyd Smith to find out more about making the switch to alt milk and the philosophy and science behind the brand.
Try it for yourself at 10am, Tuesday 4 May at our Kelburn cafe and 10am, Tuesday 11 May at our Pipitea cafe when we'll be offering free 90ml piccolo lattes served with delicious Happy Happy Soy Boy milk.
What is your day job?
I’m a coffee guy. Aside from Happy Happy Foods, I own two coffee shops - one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. They’re called Bonnie Coffee Co. after my Mum, and they’re grounded in all the things she taught me. At Happy Happy Foods, my job is working with my business partner, John Cruse, to create nutritionally and environmentally happier plant-based products that complement espresso.
What is your connection to Vic Books?
We are lucky enough to count Vic Books as part of our Happy Happy Family. You can find Happy Happy Soy Boy at both Vic Books café locations.
There were already a number of soy milks available in New Zealand by the time Happy Happy Soy Boy arrived here but you seem to be used in all the best cafes (including ours!). What makes your soy milk so good?
The key reason that we’re the soy of choice is that our milk is crafted for coffee, without compromising on taste and nutrition. Happy Happy Soy Boy has an alkaline base that, when mixed with the acidity of espresso, balances and complements its flavours.
Happy Happy Soy Boy – what’s the story behind the choice of name?
We like to keep things playful and fun here at Happy Happy HQ, and with the name it was really that simple. There are two Happys because it’s happier for you nutrition wise and happier for the environment, and Soy Boy - well, it rhymes!
Your company is Carbon Neutral, why is that important to you? And how do you achieve that?
That’s right - our products and people are 100% Carbon Neutral.
The choice to become carbon neutral stems from our core commitment to be “Happier for the planet”, and is summed up in our Climate Happy program - Measure, Reduce, Offset.
These steps have been put into action following an all-encompassing, third party carbon emissions assessment of our products. We also print our Carbon Cloud 'score' on our packaging, indicating the carbon emissions of each of our products. Climate Labelling is really the next step in educating consumers about the impacts of their day-to-day decisions.
Becoming carbon neutral and introducing climate labelling on our products was a decision driven by the desire to hold ourselves and others accountable, whilst inspiring positive change. We are committed to measuring and publishing the carbon footprint of all of our products. We fully embrace the challenge of transparency and accountability, and encourage other individuals and businesses to do the same.
The dairy industry seems to be a little bit threatened by the popularity of “alt milks” and there’s been some talk of protecting the word “milk” - what do you think of that? And is there another word you’d like to use instead?
This is something that we have been aware of for quite some time - our UK/EU packaging actually states soy “drink” rather than “milk” due to EU regulations around food labelling.
It is understandable that the dairy industry feels threatened by the plant-based food movement, as the food system that has been built over the last century is a dead end for the future.
This is the first generation to truly see the impact that human consumption as a whole is having on the environment. It doesn’t matter what we call our products, people are driven by a desire to build a sustainable food system and are making the switch. My mission for Happy Happy Foods will stay the same - to make plant-based food and beverages tastier, fun, more mainstream, and better for the environment than the products of the generation before us.
You’re described as a “coffee and plant based foods entrepreneur” – can we expect to see other Happy Happy plant-based foods soon?
I’m glad you asked because we are really excited to share that the newest kid on the block will hit cafés later this year. His name is Almond Daddy - he contains no oils and is specifically designed to work with espresso for that smoother tasting almond latte.
We're going to be giving away 90ml Happy Happy Soy Boy lattes from 10am, Tuesday 4 May at Kelburn, and 11 May at Pipitea. Do you think dairy-loving kiwis will like them?
What’s not to like? Happy Happy Soy Boy is made from just five natural ingredients, with no added oils, flavourings or other nasties. Its smooth and creamy taste and texture make it the perfect milk to swap dairy for.
Happy Happy Foods is about creating great choices that make people healthy and happy without the burden of animal agriculture.
Some quick fire book recommendations please!
How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee.
What are you reading at the moment? What do you like about it?
I’m currently reading Food Fight by environmental writer McKay Jenkins. Jenkins presents well-researched arguments and interviews about the global food production system, which is something I really appreciate in writing. I’m always trying to gather different perspectives on various topics in order to form my own balanced opinion.
Hardback or paperback?
Paperback all the way. I love the physical character a book inherits when it’s passed through many hands.
You might think I’m biased (and you might be right) but I’m going to have to say an iced soy latte made with Happy Happy Soy Boy and Bonnie Coffee’s “Mumma’s Boy” espresso blend. Always a winner.
Check out our Happy Happy Soy Boy latte tastings on our Event page here>